Re: RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled Lit is Dead...

From: James Rogers (
Date: 19 May 2000

At 05:52 PM 5/19/00 EDT, Jim Blue wrote:
> Pronzini's take is tautalogy, and close to a non-sequiter. He makes the
>rules and he gets to classify whatever comes up. He apparently has a
>definition of hard boiled tucked away in his head, and any counter example
>anyone wants to offer he will either shrug off by saying it is "imitative"
>a "tribute" or that it isn't hard boiled at all. Such proclamations are
>for getting folks excited, but once you poke at them, there's not much of
>substance to discuss.
> If Bill thinks it's dead, that must mean he doesn't intend to write any
>more of it.
>That's okay.

     Mr. Blue is right.
     I have always thought that Pronzini was a very marginal author in the field, so I don't take his comments very seriously.
     I think that I _would_ agree that the Hardboiled 'Tec story is pretty dead. But the genre as a whole? Nyet. People like Tarantino and Ellroy demonstrate, in their respective mediums, that both the appeal and the subject matter are still Spades.
     If you look at the reviews of HB stuff in your "way-back machine", you can see that the stuff was considered a dated joke almost from it's conception. People have _always_ said it was hokey and tired. But like Rock and Jazz, the HB crap just refused to die off. I reckon there's a dance in the old dame yet.


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